From the start it was a perfect match – an iconic gathering place in Hillcrest in need of a makeover and a local architect known for bringing the best out of cultural landmarks. So it began, when Graham Downes was hired by Regency Centers in November 2012 to revitalize the Uptown District Shopping Center located at 1030 University Avenue. Although Downes unfortunately passed away last year, his legacy lives on in many different ways, including with this revitalization, which began this past Monday, May 19.
“Regency understands and appreciates the historical importance and cultural significance of this community gathering place,” said Gregg Sadowsky, Senior Vice President for Regency Centers. “That is why we turned to Graham and other San Diegans to help us restore and enhance this civic treasure.”
Regency Centers purchased Uptown District in December 2012 with the intention of modernizing the center in a manner that is consistent with the culture, community and lifestyle of the Hillcrest community. Central to this project is a new name for the shopping center. Moving forward it will be called The HUB | Hillcrest Market to better describe how the local community enjoys this vibrant central location or more simply The HUB. HUB stands for Hillcrest Uptown Block.
Additional project features include more than a $3 million total investment; new custom murals by San Diego-based artists, curated by SEZIO; several new tenants, such as Napizza and Ritual Juicebox; drought-resistant and indigenous landscaping; colorful new way-finding signs throughout the center; and sculptural art installations by Chris Puzio and MakeFab (Terry Dixon). The HUB is expected to be completed by Fall 2014.
“Regency has brought together a San Diego-based team that will bring new vitality and excitement to this center, while preserving the culture and spirit of the Hillcrest community, and I look forward to working with them and the neighbors as the project moves forward,” said San Diego City Council President Todd Gloria. “We appreciate their investment and their commitment to our community.”
Developed in 1989, Uptown District was a unique project for its time. The architecture and design comprised an avant-garde style of construction and lifestyle integration that wouldn’t become popular until the mid-1990s. The recent redevelopment is intended to keep that same history, tone of forward-thinking and progressive culture for today’s shopper, diner, art-lover and community member.
Regency Centers Corp. bought Uptown District Shopping Center, the 148,638-square foot mixed-use center in San Diego for approximately $81 million. The sale marked the largest retail transaction in San Diego County in 2012. Tenants at Uptown District Shopping Center currently include Ralphs, Trader Joe’s, Wells Fargo, Panera Bread and Starbucks, among others.